If you are on this blog and reading this post, chances are Anime/Manga is your stepping stone into Japanese culture. There are multiple ways to have a sponsored stay in Japan, such as well known programs as the JET and various other organizations.
Firstly, What is the JET and the JET Program? Well JET is an acronym short for Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program. The organization is sponsored by the Japanese Government and their objective to find College graduates from English speaking backgrounds to work abroad in Japan. They provides careers such as, ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) and CiR (Coordinator for International Relations). They provide education services, instill western culture and assist with translations.
JET Program isn’t the only organization that hire English teachers, There are multiple alternatives such as NOVA, AEON, Interac and etc. That also have similar hiring process and requirements.
Let’s go over the common Jobs of JET/Abroad Educational programs.
ALT is one of the most common and desired job of JET and education programs. The ALT role is too teach or assist Japanese teachers on teaching basic English. The Japanese government hopes to make English a permanent and compulsory system in Japanese schools, from grades 5-12. Not only Primary schools are taught but also instructional and tutoring centers at a local English speaking school, known as ‘Eikaiwa’. The chances are ALT are most likely to teach more than one public school and maybe working at an Eikaiwa. Yes, Japan is short on English teachers and always looking for dedicated opportunists.
What are the requirements to become an ALT in Japan?
Well the key requirement to apply is holding a 4 year Bachelor’s degree of any kind. JET and many other Education employers seek educated people. If you don’t hold any 4 year degree, You are unable to apply. You also must be fluent in English.
I have a 4 year degree, but I don’t know Japanese… Can I still apply?
Yes, you can apply regardless you can or cannot speak Japanese. The Japanese government wants any college educated personnel with an English native speaking background.
I am not from North America, AUS or the UK but I am fluent in English, Can I apply?
You can apply as long there is a consulate or office in your home country, make sure you apply within the country you hold residency in. Some Organizations may need to check TOEFL scores (Test of English as Foreign Language). Please do not apply for position out of home country.
Why is a 4 year degree so important?!
Japan’s policies are strict on whom they approve Visas for. This is a Job in the education industry and an educated background is needed.
Am I able to get Stationed anywhere in Japan?
Organizations will let you put down one or three prefectures for preference, but it’s most likely you’ll be stationed anywhere. The goal of these Organizations is to make sure Japanese communities and schools have the privilege to learn English, so any areas short handed, might obtain you.
The Coordinator of Relations makes up about 10% of the workforce in the JET Program, due too higher standard of Japanese proficiency needed. Unlike ALTs, CiRs are not restricted to language teaching but are more flexible in jobs. Although many are restricted to their assign companies assisting with international communications and relationships. Educational organizers are not the only ones searching for skilled bilingual speakers in English and Japanese, lots of Japanese companies seek them too.
What is the JLPT?
The JLPT is the acronym for Japanese Language Proficiency Test. It is used to evaluate non-natives on their ability in Japanese. The test ranges from, Language knowledge, reading and listening to evaluate participants. The score ranges from N5 being the basic, N1 being the most proficient. Japanese Companies, translators and medical fields desire those educated and ranked high on the JLPT scores.
Do I need to take the JLPT?
Yes, if you consider the CiR position from JET/Education organizations, pursuing medical positions in Japan or etc. It would be highly needed. If you are just looking to just teach abroad as an ALT, it is not required to take it.
That covers the interesting jobs that aspiring college graduates and of those still in college thinking on career paths afterwards. Traveling abroad to teach English in Japan and other foreign countries, can be an amazing experience for culture shock, but realize devoted commitment is required. Do not forget responsibility and maturity is at hand, there is no tolerance for any negligence on the job. As myself is now joining AEON, I look as myself as role model and educator for the students I’ll be instructing. My job comes first before any exploring or play, keep that as a reminder!
Well then this concludes my post! The selection of programs can be very overwhelming and require some credentials to apply. The application is just a step, but the next challenge is the interview….
That is another post to be told!